E-books in the Publishing Industry: Revitalization or Competition

What was the last book you read? How did you read it? Was it a paperbound book, or did you read it through your computer or on a tablet?  Just a decade ago you would have thought that last question quite strange.  An E-book is an electronic copy of a book, and was little known at the turn of the century, and in the years before used only in specific trade fields (DCLnews editorial, 2011). These days you may be thought strange for not having read at least one E-book whether it have been for a class or entertainment. In October 2010, the publishing industry experienced a wake up call; Ebook sales were up  8 million dollars compared to the same month in the previous year, while paperbound book sales had dropped a surprising 20 percent (Hogan, 2008; Jessup, 2009). Though the Ebook has been around since the 1970s, is has only recently reached acclaim and popularity with the masses.

This last year, we all watched as Borders went out of business and closed its doors for the last time. Some have called the cause of this event to be their failure to move into the 21st century with E-books in mind. Likewise, Barnes and Noble maintains its place as top storefront retailer of reading materials in the United States and many have said this is due to their purchase of the corporation FictionWise (the largest retailer of E-books before 2010). FictionWise sells E-books of open-code design so that they can be read on any device and have no corporate affiliations with E-reader designs. Thanks to this purchase, Barnes and Noble is in the top five of online reading material retailers, competing with Amazon and Ebay. Many are concerned that the growing popularity of the E-book will be the demise of the publishing industry while others argue it will be the revitalization of the industry. At this point, while sales continue to yoyo in the stunted economy, all that can be said is only time will tell.
For details on information provided please see these articles:
DCLnews editorial. (2011). ebooks alive & well, living under an assumed name!. Retrieved from http://www.dclab.com/stealth_ebooks.asp
Hogan, R. (2008, December 12). October’s books sales down 20 percent, publishers say. Retrieved from http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/octobers-books-sales-down-20-percent-publishers-say_b8280
Jessup, P. (2009, March 11). Will 2009 be the year of the E-book?. Retrieved from http://www.epapercentral.com/will-2009-be-the-year-of-the-E-book.htm

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